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Grateful Dead Live at The Ark on 1969-04-22

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Grateful Dead Live at The Ark on 1969-04-22

Topics Live concert

Sitting On Top Of The World, Morning Dew, Beat It On Down The Line, Good Morning Little School Girl, Doin' That Rag, Cryptical Envelopment-> Drums-> The Other One-> Cryptical Envelopment-> Death Don't Have No Mercy Dupree's Diamond Blues-> Mountains Of The Moon-> Dark Star-> Saint Stephen-> The Eleven-> Turn On Your Love Light-> Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks) Jam-> Turn On Your Love Light

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue The Ark
Location Boston, MA

Source Soundboard
Lineage SMC > R > DAT
Taped by
Transferred by Scott Clugston


Updated possible gen: SMC>R>D (had been marked MSR > Cassette > DAT x2 > CDR); d1t1,8 have cuts from master; via Scott Clugston, Lee Revell.


Reviewer: rlrevell - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2017
Subject: Perfect performance, but the recording issues...
Hi, I'm the Lee Revell who seeded this among other masters to etree nearly 20 years ago, when it was rare to have access to a lot of bandwidth, so old DAT-heads with extremely dank masters would seek you out.

Anyway... I don't think 4/21 and 4/23 hold a candle to this show. I believe it to be the best 1969 Dark Star and on the short list for best ever. What makes this recording unique from nearly the beginning (definitely one Schoolgirl gets going) is the way Mickey and Billy are mixed in the stereo field - listen to it with headphones, there's a snare on the left and one on the right and they're more locked in on this than anything I've heard from this era, the interplay between the drummers is what makes this show.

That being said, this suffers from three significant flaws that to me account for why it hasn't been officially released:

Minor: Tape hiss. This should be fixable with time and a modern DAW. I actually have remastered disk 2 using Cool Edit 2000's noise reduction filter and I believe it improved the sound, but it's not considered kosher to distrubute such things unless you're GDP so I didn't.

Moderate: Mic feedback. Especially early in the first set, the mics howl and screech with feedback to the point that Weir begs Bear for help. Used to be the case that action on a master recording couldn't be removed, but with the advent of visual waveform editing of the type that removed the "clicks of doom" from the 11/8/69 master thus allowing it to become DP 16, I think someone using the pen tool in Sound Forge could remove the worst of it. And there's only a few seconds of audio total that need this work, not a whole show.

Major: The brutal, jarring, atrocious cut in The Other One. I've been collecting Dead recordings for 25 years now and this is IMO the worst cut on any of them. 10 to 30 minutes of the best stuff they've ever done is missing here. Judging by how hot they were playing when the cut happens, and by the reaction of the audience when it reaches the quiet part after the cut, I belive that what's missing could have been as cosmic as the 5/2/70 version, the little of it we have certainly seems like it's the best 1969 version. I just don't see how this could be made releasable unless an alternate recording is found. Another reviewer mentioned being there for this show; maybe they could recommend another version that could be spliced in?
Reviewer: peacmyer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 23, 2016
Subject: The Eleven
Awesome rendition of this one. Still hard to see how they can keep up with 11 beats per measure and keep it all straight.
Reviewer: Slicktrolla Springlube - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 3, 2014
Subject: AMISH SPEED--2014/4/3
I just got here. Did I miss anything?
Reviewer: chris phillips - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 27, 2013
Subject: Earth Day 1969
This is my go to DS of '69. It is pretty like 5/15/70, 11/8/70, 9/27/72 and 2/26/73. Those are my faves. This one has the best intro.
The Eleven rips and the Pig windup is very good.
The Fillmore 2/27-3/2 and these shows at The Ark are most compelling.
Reviewer: Rueben Finklestein - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 10, 2012
Subject: Spiritual Mountains
I found this show because I have am in a kick where I needed a major dose of Mountains of the Moon. What a show! But, I am adding my two cents to comment on "koeselitz" post. I loved it. I may be older than you, but I humbly admit I am not wiser. In the years I have been reading these posts, I think you summed up why the Dead have been so important in all of our lives. Glad you are in the community
Reviewer: jb95 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 19, 2012
Subject: Love it!
I also wish Pigpen was a little higher in the mix, but incredible show nonetheless!
Reviewer: CarrionCrow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 23, 2012
Subject: 43 years ago today!
So, so excellent to be able to enjoy these fabulous 3 nights at the Ark. Would love to read more posts from folks who were there. My first shows were in February 69. I LOVE 69 and 70 Dead!!!! Check out the show at Clark U from the night before the Ark stand.
Reviewer: DMT - - April 22, 2012
Subject: .
More focused than the night before. pretty solid all the way through. "Dark Star" really takes you out there. A real nice "Sitting on top of the World" to open(sound improves after 1min.) I think is a really good show for 1969.
Reviewer: worrellj - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 11, 2010
Subject: Love it
Mountains of the it
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 12, 2010
Subject: 5-Star-Dark-Star
Besides 2/27/69 (Live/Dead) This may be my favorite Dark Star of the year. I had not heard this show until now since it's overshadowed by the previous night, but if the rest of the show is anywhere near the quality of this 'Star then its a five for sure...
Reviewer: bbottieri - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 16, 2009
Subject: I was there
I worked at the Ark. I will never forget seeing the Dead there
Reviewer: koeselitz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 4, 2009
Subject: A distant and formative memory for me...
... even though I'm 'so young.'

The night before I was born, Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hart & co. were inhabiting the space of the Seattle Center Coliseum in another epic show that included so many of my favorites - Sugaree, New Minglewood Blues, Playin', El Paso, S. Blue, Mexicali, and of course the always-magnificent Frank's Tower - as well as some rarer gems like Passenger and Don't Ease Me In. The band was awesome that night, full of that rhythmic power and perfect sync and stride that they so often hit during that period of the late '70s which I feel, perhaps with some bias, is their golden era. Of course I wasn't there yet; but it's a sign of this band's power that I feel as though the show that happened the night before I popped out into this world is a big part of the reason why I exist.

All this is ten years ahead of the moment we're looking at right here: the twenty-second of April, 1969. By now, you know that, far from being there, I wouldn't be *anywhere* for more than a good ten years. That's not why I love this show, why it means so very much to me, why it's part of me in a way that very, very little music is.

See, I grew up in a small town in Colorado - the sort of place that remembers, or at least remembered, the Dead and their mammoth influence, a place where aging hippies generally went to raise their kids; so this mythology was all around me. Even so my body rejected it, like a youngster's body generally rejects the things he's raised with; there weren't that many *certified* fans around anyhow. My thing, back then in the early '90s, was Phish. Heh. Until a grungy guy I met around the record store had a long conversation with me. He agreed that the boys from Vermont were good and all, but he got a faraway look in his eye when he told me that the Dead were 'trying to say something more spiritual, something that isn't in words.'

The next day he brought me three tapes. The other two were very good '73 and '74 shows which I remember fondly as being a great introduction to a very rocking and enjoyable band. However, this show, the show from the twenty-second of April, nineteen sixty-nine, was a revelation. I remember as though it were a moment ago huddling close to my little tape player all alone downstairs in my room, popping this tape in at the beginning of the second side (which for some reason happened to be cued up when I got it home) and hearing the haunting first notes of Mountains of the Moon, and then listening to the music give way to Dark Star. This music - it wasn't just from another generation, it was from another planet! I don't know why it made me shiver to think how *old* this tape had been - when you're fourteen years old, everything seems ancient and strange, but the thought that people had been guarding this recording, passing it from person to person, transferring it through technologies long dead that I didn't really understand so that the spirit could be kept alive and finally bestowed upon me, gave me a sacred initiation into eternal rites which purified me and made me a more complete human being. This was my thing, sitting in my room all alone; these guys, these crazy, thoughtful, rambling, ecstatic and soulful guys, separated from me by generations and by years and even by geography, understood how it felt to be me, and had something they could give me just because I happened to be human. Since those days, I've never been able to explain fully to people what that meant to me; it's so personal, and yet it's a membership in a family, a community that is built not on the apparent bonds of proximity but on invisible bonds of the spirit. I never saw the Grateful Dead live; but I *lived* the Grateful Dead live, and while I would give major parts of my body (an eyeball, for instance - I'm dead serious, I am) to have seen them play at any stage of their career, I know that even merely listening to their tapes I'm actually a part of something much larger than myself. That spiritual initiation into the rites of the sacred and divine groove is a comfort not only because such rites are rare in our jaded times, but also because that sense of belonging and of true reality is actually the center of human life.

This show is more to me than a concert, although that's really what it is in the world of simple reality. This show is a sacred object existing in the realm of the divine. I know that, for once in my life, I can say this and expect that somebody understands what I mean. Thank you, everyone who was there through the years keeping the flame alive: the band, but also all the people that came together and made this beautiful thing called The Grateful Dead possible. Otherwise, young people like me would have far less guidance, far less spirit, far less soul, and most of all far less of the touch of the rite of the sacred.

Hope this isn't too long. Had to get that out. This show really changed my life. Thank you so very deeply,, for giving me back this moment that meant so much to me.
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 22, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" April 22, 1969, at the Boston Ark, Boston MA, U.S.A.


Super 69' Soundboard!...Beam me up Scotty!

Forty years ago today the GRATEFUL DEAD were in Boston at the Ark, where were you? I couldn't be there in 69, but I made it today....where were you???

I highly recommend all the Boston Ark Shows, April 21,22 & 23 1969.

I highly recommend adding this Scott Clugston transfer to your 1969 GRATEFUL DEAD collection. Scotty did it again, another "Audio Masterpiece".

"Classic 1969 Sound"

"Mountains of the Moon" starts acoustic then turns electric, and then...into " Dark Star" with all the right sounds in all the right places.

Yeah...check it out. This show is magical and mythical.

5 Stars for the mix, recording, performance and transfer.

The IA recommends users of Windows XP view this web-page with RealPlayer. RealPlayer is a free media player you can download at

For easy streaming or downloading use RealPlayer. Click the VBR M3U link to open the songs in the Playlist. If your Playlist is not open, open it by clicking the Playlist icon at the lower right hand corner of RealPlayer. Once the songs are in the Playlist, double click the song to play it, then click the record button at the lower left hand corner of Realplayer to record it. When the red line reaches the other end click the stop button to download the song. Your song is in the RealPlayer Downloads folder. Repeat these steps for each song.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the LOVE from 1969.

PS: Get em' while you can, get em' while they're free, get em' now or you'll be sorry...the Man giveth and the Man taketh away...WTTW

Remember to click on the "DeadLists Project" link to get the poster for this show.
Reviewer: StaggerRaggin11 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 13, 2006
Subject: yep
indeed, this dark star is excellent
Reviewer: ethelred - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2006
Subject: A gOOD dEATH
This show has a good version of 'Death Dont Have no Mercy' that just crackles with energy and is one of my favorite version of this song. The rest of this show is pretty good too, despite being a little sloppy.
Reviewer: jfk62 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2006
Subject: Thankful for gdlive
The SBD is still at for download. The sound is very good for 1969. Good show.
Reviewer: Mike Ashenfelder - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 13, 2004
It's always a treat when the Dead segue "Mountains of the Moon" into "Dark Star." "Mountains" always sets a proper mood and keeps the tempo and feel into "Dark Star" cool, relaxed, and dignified.
Reviewer: The Matrix - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 24, 2004
Subject: Dark Star!!!
Out of all the Dark Stars out there, this one is one of my favorites! Clocking out at over 30 minutes, get ready for it to blow your mind! Great setlist too...
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